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Gary Selected for Revitalization Project

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Area officials hope the effort further strengthens development projects already going on in the community.

According to a press release from the National Main Street Center, the revitalization effort is part of a pilot program to “breathe new life” into historic downtowns and commercial districts.

The program, which was launched by the center in December, will help provide local leaders with 12 to 18 months of free organizational capacity building, expert advice and hands-on technical assistance to plan and execute long-term strategic action, and measure the success of that action over time.

In an interview with the Northwest Indiana TimesGary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilsonsaid the revitalization effort in Gary should result in the construction of a new church, the reopening of the library on 5th Street and the introduction of rapid transit bus services to Broadway.

She said it would also help to revitalize the Northside, Aetna, Glen Ryan Park, Horace Mann and Emerson areas, as well as build upon the development of the data center and bank building projects.

According to the press release, the Knight Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have both supported this pilot program.

“Providing people with spaces to connect and participate in neighborhood life is essential to creating the type of cities where people want to live and work,” said Carol Coletta, Knight Foundation vice president for community and national initiatives. “The initiative will do just that by working with cities to create more vibrant downtown hubs and engaging residents as change agents in this transformation."